Thunderstorm watches for southwest; air quality advisories for central Saskatchewan for Wednesday

Environment Canada has issued Air Quality Statements for parts of central Saskatchewan Wednesday morning.

An uncontained wildfire burning east of Prince Albert and north of Melfort is spilling smoke south and southeast towards central parts of the province.

Included in the advisory is the city of Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Melfort and Wakaw.

Environment Canada says northeasterly winds on Wednesday will gradually shift to the south on Thursday moving the smoke out of the area and possibly into north central Saskatchewan.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Environment Canada is also advising the southwest corner of the province to watch for severe thunderstorms that could develop in their area.

The weather office issued the watch for areas surrounding Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Maple Creek, Shaunavon, Assiniboia, and Gull Lake.

The storm could produce strong winds, heavy rain, and potentially hail.

Some of the storm is expected to become severe in the late afternoon or early evening.

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